WikiLeaks soldier Bradley Manning sentenced to 35 years

U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is escorted out of a courthouse during his court martial at Fort Meade in Maryland, August, 20, 2013. Credit: Reuters
U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is escorted out of a courthouse during his court martial at Fort Meade in Maryland on Tuesday. Credit: Reuters

Bradley Manning, the U.S. soldier convicted of the biggest breach of classified data in the nation’s history, was sentenced today to 35 years in a military prison.

The 25-year-old private first class was facing up to 90 years for turning over more than 700,000 classified files, battlefield videos and diplomatic cables to the pro-transparency website WikiLeaks, in a case that has commanded international attention since 2010.

Prosecutors had asked for 60 years, while defense attorneys this week pleaded with Lind not to “rob him of his youth.”

Manning was working as a low-level intelligence analyst in Baghdad when he handed over the documents, catapulting WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, into the international spotlight.

In July, Lind found Manning guilty of 20 criminal counts including espionage and theft, but not of aiding the enemy, the most serious charge, which carried a possible sentence of life in prison without parole.

The classified material that shocked many around the world included a 2007 gunsight video of a U.S. Apache helicopter firing at suspected insurgents in Baghdad. Among the dozen fatalities were two Reuters news staff, and WikiLeaks dubbed the footage “Collateral Murder.”

The case highlighted the difficulty of keeping secrets in the Internet age. It raised strong passions on the part of the U.S. government, which said Manning had put American lives at risk, and anti-secrecy advocates, who maintained Manning was justified in releasing the information.

A U.S. rights group has said Manning should be a candidate for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.

Manning’s trial at Fort Meade, Maryland, home of the ultra-secret National Security Agency, is winding down as the United States continues to seek the return of Edward Snowden. The former NSA contractor who disclosed details of secret U.S. programs that included monitoring the telephone and Internet traffic of Americans, has been given temporary asylum in Russia.

The Guardian newspaper reported on Tuesday that British authorities had forced it to destroy the materials leaked by Snowden.

Broader debate

Manning’s defense argued that his aim had been to spark a broader debate on the role of the U.S. military and make Americans aware of the nature of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

According to defense testimony, military supervisors ignored erratic behavior on the part of Manning, which included trying to grab a gun during a counseling session.

Defense attorneys had argued that such actions demonstrated that the slightly built Manning, who is gay and was increasingly isolated while deployed to Iraq, had not been fit for duty overseas.

During a pretrial hearing, Lind reduced Manning’s sentence by 112 days because of harsh treatment after his arrest in 2010. He likely will be imprisoned at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Manning pleaded guilty to lesser charges earlier this year, but military prosecutors continued their efforts to convict him on more serious counts.

Last week, Manning apologized to the court for what he had done, saying: “I understand I must pay a price for my decisions.”

The Bradley Manning Support Network, a group backing the soldier, said in a statement it plans to seek clemency from Army officials after sentencing. Manning’s attorney David Coombs also will ask for a pardon from President Barack Obama, it said.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Every dog has his day in court, in…

(Reuters) - Call him juror K-9.A computer glitch is likely to blame for a summons that called a German Shepherd to report for jury duty,…

Local

Police seek mother of slain 11-year-old on involuntary…

Police are seeking the mother of an 11-year-old girl who was accidentally shot to death by her 2-year-old brother two weeks ago on involuntary manslaughter…

Local

Chestnut Hill College student found dead Wednesday morning

A 22-year-0ld Chestnut Hill College student was found dead this morning inside a college dormitory, police said.

International

Nearly 300 missing after South Korean ferry capsizes

Almost 300 people were missing after a ferry capsized off South Korea Wednesday, in what could be the country's biggest maritime disaster in over 20 years.

Television

Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.

Television

'Dexter' star Jennifer Carpenter moves into producing role

The actress who played the title character's sister in "Dexter" is teaming up with producer George Stelzner to adapt Erika Hayasaki's book "The Death Class:…

The Word

Wahlburgers announce North America domination

Tuesday was a huge day for Donnie Wahlberg.

Books

Becoming friends with New York City's oldest known…

"The Life and Times of Richard Musto" tells the story, through a poem, of the oldest known homeless man in New York City.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

NHL

Flyers, Rangers meet in playoffs for 11th time

The Flyers and Rangers will start a new chapter in a historic rivalry.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers…

MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers and Braves right behind

NHL

Top 5 Philadelphia storylines for Flyers-Rangers

The slate is clean for the Flyers and the Rangers. Which is good news for the Flyers.

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.

Wellbeing

Cognitive skills begin to drop at age 24

But the news isn't all that bad.

Career

How to get a job at a startup:…

We talked to Tarek Pertew, one of the co-founders behind Uncubed, about how to get your dream job at a startup.

Parenting

The 'smartest' summer camps across the country

See a list of summer camps across the country that emphasis learning, while still being fun.